Seven Characteristics of Successful Networkers

3:23 pm Networking as a marketing strategy

From the desk of Michael J. Hughes, Canada’s Networking Guru.

In my fifteen years of relentless research on networking, I have witnessed the ingredients of a networking success formula. Below are characteristics I have found in every successful networker (and by successful I mean at the six-figure level) I have met.


1. Courageous. This is one of the most overlooked, but necessary traits of the successful networker: the quality of being open to, and in fact seeking out new contacts, seeing them as additional assets and resources. They always take the initiative, thereby making others more comfortable and at ease with the process.


2. Curious. Successful networkers have developed their ability to be sincerely curious. This genuine curiosity acts as a beacon, attracting interest and creating a deep psychological bond with others in a short period. It is an acquired skill that immediately makes others feel liked and accepted.


3. Caring. Successful networkers have discovered the little-known secret of using networking as the basis for relationships. They see each interaction as a powerful catalyst that impacts and accelerates the relationship process. They know that by demonstrating they care about the other person, they create a powerful bond and build trust.


4. Skilled communicator. Just as a Judo expert uses an opponent’s weight to her/his advantage, successful networkers realize effective communication is the result of being a better listener and asking better questions, rather than parroting an “elevator pitch”. In this way, they allow the other person to be the centre of attention as they gain valuable information.


5. Create value. Value is a critical success factor in business and in life. Successful networkers accept that every contact has inherent value. They make it a priority to discover the other person’s value then they actively seek ways to unselfishly and openly leverage that value, either for themselves or for others.


6. Consistent. Although successful networkers understand networking is a powerful and productive ignition point for a relationship, they also accept that without further impetus and interaction, the spark will die. They take full responsibility for moving relationships forward, recognizing the process can take weeks, or even months.


7. Contribution-focused. The most successful networkers contribute first, often and most. They take a leadership role in groups, at events and in relationships. They have come to realize that having the courage to contribute goes against the grain of our “me-first” society. And in doing so, they unlock the doorway to networking  success.


Michael Hughes is known as Canada’s Networking Guru. To have Michael speak at your next meeting or conference, contact him at


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